Thursday, October 25, 2007

Schwarzenegger Vetoed Four Bills Increasing Firefighting Resources

Yet another example of Republican stupidity.

From the Brad Blog:

What the Governor failed to mention is that he vetoed four bills that would have increased staffing and fire resources after the Cedar Fire, at a cost of tens of millions of dollars. A fifth bill, signed by Schwarzenegger, requires local governments to first submit safety plans to the California Department of Forestry and will not take effect until 2010, the Los Angeles Times reported in a May 20, 2007 article titled “Fire danger acute as 2003 lessons fade.” That article has since disappeared off the newspaper’s website, but a copy is here.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

National Guard Troops Denied G.I. Bill Benefits

Another fine example of this administration's failure to "support the troops."

National Guard Troops Denied Benefits After Longest Deployment Of Iraq War
Rhonda Erskine
, Online Content Producer
Created: 10/3/2007

MINNEAPOLIS, MN (NBC) -- When they came home from Iraq, 2,600 members of the Minnesota National Guard had been deployed longer than any other ground combat unit. The tour lasted 22 months and had been extended as part of President Bush's surge.

1st Lt. Jon Anderson said he never expected to come home to this: A government refusing to pay education benefits he says he should have earned under the GI bill.

"It's pretty much a slap in the face," Anderson said. "I think it was a scheme to save money, personally. I think it was a leadership failure by the senior Washington leadership... once again failing the soldiers. "

Anderson's orders, and the orders of 1,161 other Minnesota guard members, were written for 729 days. Had they been written for 730 days, just one day more, the soldiers would receive those benefits to pay for school."

Which would be allowing the soldiers an extra $500 to $800 a month," Anderson said.That money would help him pay for his master's degree in public administration. It would help Anderson's fellow platoon leader, John Hobot, pay for a degree in law enforcement."

I would assume, and I would hope, that when I get back from a deployment of 22 months, my senior leadership in Washington, the leadership that extended us in the first place, would take care of us once we got home," Hobot said. Both Hobot and Anderson believe the Pentagon deliberately wrote orders for 729 days instead of 730.

Now, six of Minnesota's members of the House of Representatives have asked the Secretary of the Army to look into it -- So have Senators Amy Klobuchar and Norm Coleman.Klobuchar said the GI money "shouldn't be tied up in red tape," and Coleman said it's "simply irresponsible to deny education benefits to those soldiers who just completed the longest tour of duty of any unit in Iraq."

Anderson said the soldiers he oversaw in his platoon expected that money to be here when they come home."I had 23 guys under my command," Anderson said. "I promised to take care of them. And I'm not going to end taking care of them when this deployment is over, and it's not over until this is solved."

The Army did not respond questions Tuesday afternoon. Senators Klobuchar and Coleman released a joint statement saying the Army secretary, Pete Geren, is looking into this personally, and they say Geren asked a review board to expedite its review so the matter could be solved by next semester.Minnesota National Guard spokesman Lt. Col. Kevin Olson said the soldiers are "victims of a significant injustice."

Friday, October 05, 2007

Chris Matthews: Bush Admin. Has "Finally Been Caught In Their Criminality"

At the 10th anniversary party for his Hardball show (Thursday evening 10/5/07), Chris Matthews had critical words for the Bush/Cheney gang. After seven years of BushCo directed madness and mayhem, all I have to say is--Chris, what took you so long? You have the damn microphone.

From the St. Louis Examiner article by Jeff Dufour and Patrick Gavin:

Matthews says Bush administration has "finally been caught in their criminality"

...After praising the drafters of the First Amendment for allowing him to make a living, he outlined what he said was the fundamental difference between the Bush and Clinton administrations.

The Clinton camp, he said, never put pressure on his bosses to silence him.

“Not so this crowd,” he added, explaining that Bush White House officials -- especially those from Vice President Cheney's office -- called MSNBC brass to complain about the content of his show and attempted to influence its editorial content.

"They will not silence me!" Matthews declared.

"They've finally been caught in their criminality," Matthews continued, although he did not specify the exact criminal behavior to which he referred...

When reached, the White House declined to comment and NBC refused requests to release video of the event...

Monday, October 01, 2007

Mousie Cat Speaks

From the blog of one of my favorite neighbors, Evolving In Kansas:

Matt Blunt kisses Religious Right's ass

Missouri's Gov. Matt Blunt says he thinks faith-based groups do a better job of helping people than government-funded programs. So he's created a small committee to see how Missouri can work more closely with those faith-based groups. Why now? He's looking at a 2008 run against Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon, and he desperately needs that "social conservative" vote.

For those who don't live in red states, "social conservatives" are people who vote based on only three issues: (a) abortion; (b) guns; and (c) taxes. They constitute the 34% of the American public who still think George W. Bush is doing a heckuva job. In other words, they are either (a) totally misinformed, thanks to Faux News; or (b) irremediably ignorant...

Read the entire article here.